Apparently the biggest reason the iPhone came with a virtual keyboard that was actually usable is because everybody at Apple Computer Inc. was scared to death of The Simpsons making fun of them.
In the early 1990s, Apple had come out with a PDA platform called Newton. Newton devices like the MessagePad were widely mocked for its less-than-stellar handwriting recognition, most notably by The Simpsons in this throwaway gag from "Lisa On Ice:"
Detractors of modern day Simpsons, rejoice: the writing staff is finally putting some effort into something! Unfortunately, that something has nothing to do with the show in any way.
Bloomberg Businessweek has a story about the writers' Summer Box Office Fantasy League, a "complicated gambling game" where they waste time by betting on which summer blockbusters will rule the box office for the grand prize of a banner and $400, the equivalent of how much Matt Groening makes in a minute.
The name of Modern Simpsons's devastating Nintendo "parody," Funtendo, has apparently been hijacked for a quasi-legal breakout box (I have no idea what that is) that "lets you hook the NES, N64, and Wii Classic controllers up to your PC" via USB so you gamers can play your little quasi-legal Nintendo ROMs with an actual joystick instead of a stupid keyboard as a controller. Feeling nostalgic for Mario Kart 64? Well you'd better get your soldering iron ready, because you'll have to assemble it yourself with these amazingly simple instructions!
And yet, spending a weekend putting that all together sounds infinitely more entertaining than watching The Simpsons's inexplicable Wii parody from a couple years ago that doesn't actually parody anything, and would definitely be considered product placement had they not cleverly misspelled it.
Some nerdlinger made a "video coat" made up of little LED screens that allows the wearer to show Simpsons episodes and other videos on their jacket. I guess it's similar to Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman's TV-Bra for Living Sculpture (1969), except less likely to give you cancer, maybe. Doesn't this seem like something out of a bad sci-fi movie about obtrusive advertising in the future? If this gets out of hand, Fox will have to join forces with the Fashion Police to stop bootleggers.
The Cato Institute, the highly respected and influential libertarian think tank, just released an important study revealing that the Obama Administration's push for high-speed rail is exactly the same as as an episode of a cartoon show:
Biden's performance brings to mind the classic Simpsons episode "Marge vs. the Monorail" in which con-man Lyle Lanley convinces the town's residents to waste money on an exciting-sounding high-speed train that turns out to be a boondoggle.
Looks like Vice President Biden made the mistake of talking to a group of people about transportation and being enthusiastic about it! Everybody knows you're not supposed to do that anymore, or else you'll be compared to a Phil Hartman character from 20 years ago. Doesn't this guy have handlers?
There are some uncanny parallels between the two pitches.
Some nerd created an image of Homer using only CSS (Cascading Style Sheets, a web stylesheet language thingy), and then another nerd animated the process. Or something. I don't know. [Ned Batchelder via del.icio.us]
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